Thursday, November 15, 2018

State budget surplus shrinks, Honolulu wants to fast-track building permits, new skyscraper to be the tallest, raucous hearing over new bioenergy plant, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii’s budget surplus shrinks to $750M. The state general treasury ended the last fiscal year with a $750 million surplus, meaning the state government has a respectable budget cushion but not as large as it was in the previous three years. Star-Advertiser.

Some of Hawaii’s biggest commercial real estate owners have established a new charitable campaign to bolster affordable housing in the state. A group of 13 real estate investment trusts, all based outside the state, have committed giving a combined $455,000 in the first year of a minimum 3-year campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Schools, other departments rewriting continuity plans after year of disasters. KHON2.

Oahu

Honolulu council passes bill to expedite residential building permits. The Honolulu City Council passed a bill Wednesday to require the city to issue building permits for one- and two-family homes with 60 days of filing an application, despite a warning from the head of the city's permitting department that the bill could exacerbate construction delays. Pacific Business News.

Council OKs expedited building permit approval process. A plan to speed up the processing of building permits for one- and two-family houses won final approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday despite continuing objections from the head of the agency tasked with reviewing the applications. Star-Advertiser.

Over Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s objection the Honolulu council approved a new law that fast-tracks some building permits. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu City Council passes housing measures. Honolulu City Council hammered out several housing measures Wednesday, speeding up the permitting process and cracking down on illegal monster homes. KITV.

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The twin-tower Sky Ala Moana, a condo-hotel project on Kapiolani Boulevard, won approval from the Honolulu City Council Wednesday. The Council decision will let the developer build the towers higher than current rules allow. Star-Advertiser.

The Honolulu City Council today approved a conceptual plan for the tallest high-rise project in the urban core. The Skyline Ala Moana will have two 400 foot tall towers on the Mauka side of Kapiolani Boulevard. Hawaii Public Radio.

Striking Unite Here Local 5 hotel workers head back to the bargaining table today with added momentum from taking their picket to Marriott’s Hawaii headquarters.Wednesday morning about 1,000 strikers and supporters attired in red formed a line through Waikiki as they marched from the Westin Moana Surfrider, where workers now have been striking for 39 days, to Marriott’s offices at 2155 Kalakaua Ave. Star-Advertiser.

Portlock Road beach access resolution passes. It’s been a 21-year-long fight for Ann Marie Kirk and many other community members and beachgoers to secure public access to a small, sandy beach at the end of a lane off Portlock Road and a surf break known as “Seconds.” Star-Advertiser.

Kailua neighbors vent concerns over Tutu Bert’s respite for ill homeless. Neighbors fear safety could be compromised. Hawaii News Now.

10 Family Members, 4 Bedrooms And ‘A Dream To Have Your Own Place’. Living with multiple generations is a way of life in Hawaii that Jowenna Ellazar embraces. But like many others, she has few options in a city where the medium home price hovers around $800,000. Civil Beat.

Living On $70,000 In Kaneohe. In HI-Priced, a new email newsletter that’s part of our ongoing “Living Hawaii” series, we’re asking local people how they make ends meet in the Aloha State. Civil Beat.

Endangered Birds Get Their Home Back...From the Dogs. A de facto dog beach Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam is right up against a coastal marsh that is home to endangered native Hawaiian birds. Hawaii Public Radio.

Honolulu-based Ulupono Initiative is losing one of its founding stewards after General Partner Kyle Datta announced he is retiring from his position at the impact investment firm. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Foes, supporters turn out for contentious meeting about Hu Honua project. Citing concerns over air and water pollution, opponents of the Hu Honua Bioenergy power plant being built along the coast near Pepeekeo asked during a hearing Wednesday that an environmental impact statement be done before the project is complete. Tribune-Herald.

Tough questions and passionate outbursts punctuated a public presentation held in Hilo Wednesday about the Hu Honua Bioenergy project planned for Pepeekeo. Big Island Video News.

The Department of Health held a public meeting on the nearly completed Hu Honua Bioenergy Plant in Pepeekeo, on the Big Island Wednesday. KITV.

Community talks concerns over new Waikoloa Village solar project. Representatives of AES Distributed Energy convened the first public meeting Tuesday night on a proposed solar-plus-storage project planned for an area roughly two miles southeast of Waikoloa Village. West Hawaii Today.

The Hawaii County Board of Ethics pondered its role on Tuesday in Hilo, part of an ongoing exercise to revamp its rules of practice and procedure. Big Island Video News.

3rd chancellor finalist visits UH-Hilo. Terisa Riley, one of four finalists vying to be the school’s top administrator, met with community members and university employees during a public forum. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

A Maui County Council Committee deferred action Tuesday on outgoing Mayor Alan Arakawa’s proposal to acquire Wailuku Water Co.’s ditch system and 8,764 acres of its West Maui Mountains watershed lands for $9.5 million. Maui News.

Wailea hotel project advances. Hotel Ike, with four stories and 110 rooms, would be on 3-acre lot. Maui News.

Applications are now being accepted through the end of this year for Boards, Councils, Commissions and Committees in Maui County due to expiring terms and vacancies. Applications are also accepted year-round to fill vacancies due to resignations. Maui Now.

Kauai

Although students are improving scholastically in many areas and teenage drug and alcohol abuse continues to decline, a number of mental and physical health concerns plague Kauai’s youth, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Kauai Planning &Action Alliance. Garden Island.